With the removal from office of anti-gun Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) now complete, the Illinois General Assembly has begun focusing on other issues, including our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. We can anticipate many bills that will attack the Second Amendment, as well as some that will try to advance the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Anti-gun State Representative Harry Osterman (D-14) has introduced House Bill 48, a bill that would eliminate most private transfers of handguns. This legislation would require virtually all handgun transfers to be processed through a licensed firearm dealer. In other words, even though the law already requires all private transfers to be carefully recorded—with information such as the date of transfer and serial number of the handgun maintained for 10 years—and both the seller and purchaser must have valid FOID Cards, HB 48 would still require the additional step of processing the transfer through a licensed dealer. Even if you plan on selling a handgun to a neighbor you’ve known for 20 years, or to a cousin you’ve know your whole life, you would still be required to go to a licensed firearm dealer to complete the transfer. And if the closest dealer is 20 miles away, or more, then that’s just too bad.
Another anti-gun State Representative, Edward Acevedo (D-2), has reintroduced his ban on countless semi-automatic firearms, .50 cal. rifles and ammunition, and standard-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds. House Bill 165 is just this year’s version of the bans he has supported in the past.
Neither HB 48 nor HB 165 have been assigned to committee, so please contact your State Representative and urge them to oppose these bills. Contact information can be found here.
On the positive side, pro-gun State Representative Brandon Phelps (D-118) has introduced House Bill 462, a Right-to-Carry bill. This legislation would establish a Right-to-Carry permit system in Illinois, with county sheriffs as the issuing authority. In fact, this legislation is supported by the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association. Applicants undergo a background check to ensure they do not have a criminal or mental health record that would prohibit them from qualifying for the permit, and must meet certain training requirements. And while the sheriff will have a slight amount of discretion when approving or denying the permit, any denial that is not based on specified criteria spelled out in the issuing standards can be appealed.
If passed, HB 462 would represent a tremendous advancement for the right of self defense in Illinois.
Please contact your State Representative and urge him or her to co-sponsor and support this critical reform. Contact information can be found by clicking here.